File No. 422.11G93/772.
The Secretary of State to the Minister of Ecuador.
Washington, May 12, 1915.
Sir: The Department acknowledges the receipt of your note of March 13, 1915, in connection with your interview with Mr. Heimkè, Chief of the Latin American Division, regarding the questions outstanding between the Government of Ecuador and the Guayaquil & Quito Railroad Company, with which this Department and the Government of Ecuador have been occupied for so long a time.
The Department also refers to your note of February 9, 1915, in which you raise the question as to the Department’s discrimination between “which public business belongs to the province of diplomacy and which to ordinary transactions of operators and contractors,” and in which you express the hope that the Department will not become a party to the wish of the railroad company to make diplomatic questions of matters that can all be settled directly with your Government or in the courts of your country.
In reply to the requests in your note the Department does not see its way to ask the railroad company to furnish a copy of its by-laws to the Government of Ecuador. Those by-laws and amendments which it is in the interests of the Foreign Office at Quito to obtain, can doubtless be had from the company directly, as well as that data concerning the meetings of the board and the names of the stockholders to which you refer.
A careful study has been made of the certified copy of the report prepared by Señor Baquerizo, forwarded in your note of March 13. The form and contents of this document do not, in the opinion of the Department, invest it with that value which it is customary to attach to a formal report, and, as the arbitration with which it deals had no result, the Department has been at no pains to publish the findings of the American arbitrator, Judge Miller, so that, as in the case of a similar request from the railroad company, the Department will be unable to furnish the Government of Ecuador a copy of Judge Miller’s report, this not being a public document.
Your suggestion with reference to the provisions in the contract between your Government and the Company for the arbitration of the matter in dispute loses force by reason of the circumstance that attempts at arbitration twice arranged by this Department have in each instance failed; and, referring especially to your note of March 13, 1915, the Department, after mature deliberation, has concluded that it is amply justified in taking up, diplomatically, the present status of the relations of the Government of Ecuador and the Railway Company, and accordingly has instructed the American Minister at Quito to make various inquiries of the Government of Ecuador with respect to its attitude towards the Company, as you were informed upon your visits to the Department on May 6 and 7.